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Kalmar Nyckel : Teacher Resources : Kalmar Nyckel Sails Again! Booklet

Kalmar Nyckel Sails Again! Booklet

Kalmar Nyckel Sails Again

Kalmar Nyckel Sails Again: A 375th Anniversary Celebration of the Voyage That Founded New Sweden

"The Atlantic Ocean was an enormous 'first frontier' all its own in the 17th century, and any accounting of America's colonial experience should include this maritime world.... No one living in the colonial period could take transiting the Atlantic for granted. Looking back, neither should we." ~ Sam Heed


Softbound copies are now available and can be purchased for $12 at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation office or on the ship. You can also view it online: http://www.kalmarnyckel.org/KalmarNyckelSailsAgain.asp.  Free copies are available to teachers in Delaware.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation office at 302.429.7447 or email us at info@kalmarnyckel.org.


Introduction & Acknowledgements 

This booklet is a new educational resource – part history, part story – that attempts to provide a fresh perspective on the colony of New Sweden and Delaware’s early history. The Atlantic Ocean was an enormous “first frontier” all its own in the 17th century, and any accounting of America’s colonial experience should include this maritime world. The Atlantic could be a highway and a barrier, but it was always a dangerous and wondrous place. It shaped our formative history, often directly, in ways that are too often overlooked. No one living in this period could take transiting the Atlantic for granted. Looking back, neither should we.

This essay and collection of photographs tells the story of the founding of New Sweden in 1638 from a Kalmar Nyckel point of view – a “deck’s-eye” view from the perspective of Peter Minuit and his original crew, including those first 24 soldier-settlers who stayed behind to hold the fort, quite literally. In words and images it attempts to answer the questions we are asked all the time, namely – what was it like to sail on the original Kalmar Nyckel? Who were they that did it, and how did they ever make it? Why Delaware? What were they thinking, and what did they bring with them? How did they live, what did they eat, and where did they sleep? What did they do once they got here?

Written for 2013 and the 375th Anniversary of the founding of New Sweden, the publication is expressly designed as an educational resource to augment Delaware’s Recommended Curriculum and to spark the historical imaginations of secondary school teachers and students. If it proves useful or interesting to others, if it helps to interpret and broadcast more generally the Kalmar Nyckel story, that too would be welcome. Intended as a meditation on transatlantic voyaging and Delaware’s surprisingly pluralistic formative history, this essay was also written with the women and men of our modern-day ship in mind.

A special thanks goes to Captain Lauren Morgens for her many contributions to this project. Certainly her technical advice made the intricacies and nuances of the sailing sequences work. Even more, the creative process and the final product benefited from her spirit of critical inquiry and unflagging curiosity.

Most of all I want to thank my friend Andrew Hanna – the photographic half of the photo-essay collaboration – for his extraordinary work providing the images that mark so well the narrative content. As a volunteer crewmember with special skills and an uncanny eye for detail, Andrew represents – and his work conveys – something of the fun and inspiration that it is to work at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. We like what we’re doing at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, living in the 21st century and sometimes working in the 17th, and we hope it shows.

Samuel Heed                                                                                   May 1, 2013
Senior Historian & Director of Education
Kalmar Nyckel Foundation


This 375th Anniversary educational resource is supported by grants from the Delaware Humanities Forum and Swedish Council of America.  It will augment Delaware's Recommended Curriculum and be distributed freely to history teachers throughout the state.



Kalmar Nyckel : Teacher Resources : Kalmar Nyckel Sails Again! Booklet

Did you know: That today's Kalmar Nyckel is a re-creation of a three-masted, square-rigged, gun-armed merchant ship?


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